The Best Diet for COPD Patients

A healthy diet, means a lot for the management and treatment of COPD. A well-balanced nutrition helps conserve energy and optimize lung function.

In general, you need energy to support various physiological activities,from sleeping to exercising.  There is a metabolism here: food + oxygen —> energy + carbon dioxide. If you or your family have COPD, you need ten times more more calories than those without COPD when breathing. Besides, it’s quite necessary to prevent chest infections with a healthy diet. Last but not least, maintain a healthy body weight.

So how to get the nutrients you need through various foods? We provide you a well-balanced 2,000-calorie diet listed below.

Take grains every day. Whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta are good choices. And 6 oz daily is recommended. For example, 1 oz. is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cereal, or a half cup of cooked rice, cereal, or pasta.

Eat more dark green veggies. You can add broccoli, carrots, pinto beans and lentils to your food list. 2.5 cups daily would be great.

Get various fresh fruits. It is better to eat fruits directly rather than fruit juices. 2 cups daily is recommended.

Choose low-fat or fat-free milk.  3 cups of milk, yogurt, or other milk products daily is good for you. Use lactose-free products or calcium-fortified foods or beverages if you don’t or can’t consume milk.

Prefer the low-fat or lean meats and poultry. 5.5. oz. of protein a day such as fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.  You can bake it, broil it, or grill it.

COPD may bring you some complications. Fatigue and appetite loss could be the most common two.

If you are suffering fatigue, you may:

  • Simplify foods preparation and choose food easy to digest
  • Get enough rest after eating

If you are losing your appetite, you may:

  • Avoid black coffee and tea, and get small snacks handy. Eat more protein and fat, and less simple sugars.
  • Take a gentle walk to make you happy and stimulate your appetite.
    Special Tips: 
    1. try different types of food as possible as you can and make a personal meal plan.
    2. don’t drink beverages before or during a meal.
    3. stay away from snacks like potato chips, candy bars, colas, and other snack foods low in nutrition. Snacks with high-protein and high-calorie are highly recommended.
    4. you’d better limit alcoholic intake as it may not only slow your breath, but also interact with medicines you are taking, especially oral steroids.
    5. make your food easy to prepare and eat.

By the way, you better ask for your doctor’s professional advice before changing your copd diet. We sincerely hope all those tips can help you and your family!

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.